England must take more risks or face early exit from Euro 2012, says Blanc

Donetsk: England’s will struggle to make a major impact at Euro 2012 unless they show greater ambition, according to France coach Laurent Blanc.

Les Bleus were largely frustrated by Roy Hodgson’s obdurate side in the Group D opener in Donetsk which ended in a 1-1 draw after Samir Nasri cancelled out Joleon Lescott’s opener.

France’s players were highly critical of England’s negative approach and Blanc feels the Three Lions will have to come out from their collective shell if they are to progress deep into the tournament.

He said: “We knew that England would play how they played and we didn’t take enough risks. The game at the start was more than average and that gave confidence to the English side.

“We really were not surprised by England and they miss [Wayne] Rooney a lot. I don’t think for the second game they will change their philosophies and it is true you can win matches that way. But in the whole tournament you have to have offensive ambitions to win it.”

Despite failing to translate their vastly superior possession into a victory, Blanc was happy with his side’s reaction, having started the game slowly and conceding a sloppy goal from a set-piece.

He added: “It is true that England dominated us for the first 25 minutes. We were too shy in the beginning and we did not play the way we intended. England were content to allow us the room but we did not take advantage and they are very difficult to beat in the air.

“We could have collapsed after that first half an hour and if Milner had not missed his chance it could have been 2-0 when Lescott scored. That would have been very difficult to come back from.”

Goal.com/ James Goldman